Brighton 4 - 3 Dag & Red
Brighton twice came from behind to defeat Dagenham & Redbridge and secure promotion to English football's second tier after a five-year absence.
Dagenham took the lead inside a minute through John Akinde, before two goals in as many minutes from Inigo Calderon and Glenn Murray sent Albion in front.
However a Jon Nurse goal and Danny Green's penalty put Dagenham 3-2 up.
But Liam Bridcutt then pulled Brighton level, before Ashley Barnes' 63rd-minute header sealed a remarkable win.
Albion's promotion is the first of Gus Poyet's managerial career and comes towards the end of Brighton's final season at the Withdean Stadium before they move to their new ground at Falmer.
“Taking Brighton up to the Championship is a personal triumph for the highly likeable Poyet, who is now celebrating his first promotion as either player or manager”
Top of the table since late September, Brighton have not lost at home all season in the league and have won 10 of their last 11 fixtures to banish any thoughts of a nervous finish to their impressive campaign.
Tuesday's win sent them 16 points clear at the top of the division and Brighton can now clinch the League One title at Walsall on Saturday.
However, any thoughts of a comfortable victory against relegation-threatened Dagenham were quickly dispelled when Akinde's shot deflected beyond the helpless Casper Ankergren as the visiting side underlined their intention to spoil Albion's promotion party.
Having conceded just once in their previous four home fixtures, Brighton appeared momentarily stunned, while the expectant home fans were silenced.
Albion increased the tempo and started to pick holes in the Daggers defence, with Tony Roberts brilliantly tipping over a strike from Craig Noone while a long-range effort from Chris Wood smashed against the crossbar.
Soon afterwards full-back Calderon stabbed home a corner flicked on by Adam El-Abd to pull Brighton level.
A minute later, Murray headed home a cross from Noone despite the best efforts of Daggers defender Scott Doe to clear the ball off the line.
Poyet's team were suddenly in complete control, cutting open their opponents at will, but the pace of the game then dropped, allowing the visitors to gradually force their way back into the contest.
Ankergren saved superbly from a couple of Akinde efforts, while Romain Vincelot's effort from inside a congested penalty area flew over the crossbar as Daggers finished the half on top.
The away team's reward for their efforts came after the break when they scored twice in three minutes to once again turn the match on its head.
Nurse's strike deflected off Calderon and beyond Ankergren before El-Abd clumsily brought down Akinde, resulting in a penalty that Green slotted low into the bottom corner.
For the second time in the match, the vast majority of the crowd were stunned into silence but they were soon given encouragement when a Murray header struck the crossbar.
Bridcutt then equalised with a rasping strike that flew into the top corner before substitute Barnes headed home an Elliott Bennett corner with just about his first touch to put Albion 4-3 ahead.
Brighton still had to survive some anxious moments, notably a Green free-kick that Ankergren saved while Mark Arber's lob drifted wide.
But Poyet's side held on to become the first Football League team to secure promotion this season in the final evening match to be played at the Withdean Stadium.
- 16 Ankergren Booked
- 04 Elphick
- 06 El-Abd Booked
- 14 Calderon
- 22 Painter
- 07 Bennett
- 18 Dicker (Kishishev - 85' )
- 26 Bridcutt
- 31 Noone (Sparrow - 65' )
- 17 Murray
- 39 Wood (Barnes - 58' )
- 01 Brezovan
- 37 Dunk
- 08 Navarro
- 10 Sparrow
- 25 Kishishev
- 09 Barnes
- 21 Sandaza
Dag & Red
- 01 Roberts
- 04 Doe
- 06 Arber
- 20 Vincelot Booked
- 29 Ilesanmi Booked
- 07 Green Booked
- 19 Ogogo
- 33 Gain
- 35 Lee (Currie - 83' )
- 08 Akinde
- 09 Nurse
- 30 Lewington
- 05 Antwi
- 03 McCrory
- 17 Currie
- 24 Bingham
- 16 Savage
- 37 Lancaster
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.90:00 +2:42
The ball is swung over by Glenn Murray, save by Tony Roberts.90:00 +1:56 Booking
Booking Casper Ankergren is booked.90:00 +1:22
Ashley Barnes fouled by Peter Gain, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Casper Ankergren.90:00 +0:51
Oluwafemi Ilesanmi fouled by Glenn Murray, the ref awards a free kick. Oluwafemi Ilesanmi takes the free kick.90:00 +0:09
The official flags Glenn Murray offside. Mark Arber restarts play with the free kick.89:26
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Oluwafemi Ilesanmi by Elliott Bennett. Oluwafemi Ilesanmi takes the free kick.88:05
Glenn Murray delivers the ball, blocked by Mark Arber.86:50
Effort from the edge of the penalty area by Mark Arber goes wide of the left-hand post.86:16
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Danny Green, clearance made by Tommy Elphick.86:11
The ball is swung over by John Akinde, Tommy Elphick gets a block in.85:16
Darren Currie crosses the ball, Tommy Elphick manages to make a clearance.84:05 Substitution
Substitution Radostin Kishishev comes on in place of Gary Dicker.82:50 Substitution
Substitution Darren Currie is brought on as a substitute for Oliver Lee.81:03
Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Danny Green, save made by Casper Ankergren.81:03 Booking
Booking Booking for Adam El-Abd.80:56
Foul by Adam El-Abd on Jon Nurse, free kick awarded.79:22
Liam Bridcutt fouled by Jon Nurse, the ref awards a free kick. Casper Ankergren takes the free kick.78:09
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Elliott Bennett, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Doe by Glenn Murray. Tony Roberts takes the free kick.77:46
Inigo Calderon takes a shot. Blocked by Jon Nurse.
The ball is sent over by Elliott Bennett, clearance by Abu Ogogo.76:12
Unfair challenge on Liam Bridcutt by Romain Vincelot results in a free kick. Casper Ankergren takes the direct free kick.75:24
Inigo Calderon sends in a cross.72:52
Casper Ankergren takes the direct free kick.72:52 Booking
Booking Booking for Oluwafemi Ilesanmi for unsporting behaviour.72:38
Liam Bridcutt fouled by Oluwafemi Ilesanmi, the ref awards a free kick.70:35
Elliott Bennett crosses the ball, clearance by Scott Doe.67:49
Elliott Bennett shoots direct from the free kick.67:49 Booking
Booking Romain Vincelot receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.67:38
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Glenn Murray by Romain Vincelot.65:26
A cross is delivered by Inigo Calderon.64:28 Substitution
Substitution (Brighton) makes a substitution, with Matthew Sparrow coming on for Craig Noone.62:39
Elliott Bennett provided the assist for the goal.62:39 Goal scored
Goal! - Ashley Barnes - Brighton 4 - 3 Dag & Red Ashley Barnes finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Brighton 4-3 Dag & Red.62:29
Corner taken by Elliott Bennett,62:23
Elliott Bennett delivers the ball, blocked by Jon Nurse.61:43
Foul by Marcos Painter on Danny Green, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Danny Green.60:07
Corner taken by Elliott Bennett, Close range header by Adam El-Abd goes over the crossbar.59:42
Corner taken right-footed by Elliott Bennett, Scott Doe manages to make a clearance.59:36
Elliott Bennett produces a cross, blocked by Oliver Lee.58:45
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Romain Vincelot by Gary Dicker. Free kick taken by Danny Green.57:47 Substitution
Substitution Ashley Barnes joins the action as a substitute, replacing Chris Wood.57:35
Effort from just outside the area by Glenn Murray goes over the bar.57:04
The ball is crossed by Jon Nurse.55:55 Goal scored
Goal! - Liam Bridcutt - Brighton 3 - 3 Dag & Red A brilliant goal is scored by Liam Bridcutt from outside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Brighton 3-3 Dag & Red.55:34
Peter Gain crosses the ball, save by Casper Ankergren.55:20
The ball is crossed by John Akinde, Adam El-Abd gets a block in.54:23
The ball is delivered by Craig Noone.53:54
Gary Dicker takes a inswinging corner.53:34
Inigo Calderon takes a shot. Abu Ogogo gets a block in.53:02
Corner taken by Elliott Bennett from the right by-line.52:55
Inigo Calderon produces a cross, Scott Doe makes a clearance.51:08
Mark Arber gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chris Wood. The ball is sent over by Elliott Bennett, Glenn Murray takes a shot.50:32 Goal scored
Goal! - Danny Green - Brighton 2 - 3 Dag & Red Penalty taken right-footed by Danny Green and scored. Brighton 2-3 Dag & Red.49:38
Unfair challenge on John Akinde by Adam El-Abd results in a Penalty.47:40
Assist by Danny Green.47:40 Goal scored
Goal! - Jon Nurse - Brighton 2 - 2 Dag & Red Jon Nurse finds the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Brighton 2-2 Dag & Red.46:41
John Akinde delivers the ball, clearance made by Tommy Elphick.46:37
The ball is delivered by Abu Ogogo.45:30
A cross is delivered by Oluwafemi Ilesanmi, save by Casper Ankergren.45:01
The second half has started.45:00 +2:35 Half time
Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.45:00 +2:00
Marcos Painter gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Oliver Lee. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Danny Green.45:00 +1:07
The ball is swung over by Oliver Lee, Tommy Elphick manages to make a clearance.45:00 +0:12
Unfair challenge on Gary Dicker by Jon Nurse results in a free kick. Marcos Painter takes the direct free kick.44:13
Corner taken by Danny Green, Mark Arber takes a shot. Casper Ankergren makes a save.44:07
The ball is delivered by Peter Gain, Tommy Elphick gets a block in.42:28
John Akinde takes a shot. Fantastic save by Casper Ankergren.41:21
Short corner worked by Elliott Bennett.40:26
Danny Green concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Bridcutt. Elliott Bennett takes the free kick.40:12
Marcos Painter crosses the ball, clearance made by Mark Arber.39:22
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Elliott Bennett by Oliver Lee. Direct free kick taken by Marcos Painter.38:40
Inswinging corner taken by Danny Green from the left by-line, Tommy Elphick manages to make a clearance.36:24
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Danny Green from the right by-line, Tommy Elphick manages to make a clearance.36:18
Centre by Oluwafemi Ilesanmi, clearance by Inigo Calderon.35:38
Abu Ogogo produces a cross, clearance made by Tommy Elphick.32:58
Unfair challenge on Danny Green by Gary Dicker results in a free kick. Tony Roberts takes the direct free kick.32:17
The ball is swung over by Jon Nurse, clearance made by Tommy Elphick.30:58
The ball is crossed by Inigo Calderon, Scott Doe makes a clearance.30:12
Free kick awarded for a foul by Abu Ogogo on Gary Dicker. Casper Ankergren restarts play with the free kick.29:43
The ball is swung over by Jon Nurse, Adam El-Abd makes a clearance.28:35
Oliver Lee takes a shot from inside the six-yard box clearing the crossbar.27:55
Inswinging corner taken by Danny Green, Jon Nurse takes a shot. Blocked by Adam El-Abd.27:40
John Akinde takes a shot. Fantastic save by Casper Ankergren.26:20
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Danny Green.26:13
Peter Gain produces a cross, Chris Wood manages to make a clearance.25:53
Corner taken by Danny Green played to the near post, Tommy Elphick manages to make a clearance.25:03
Gary Dicker challenges Peter Gain unfairly and gives away a free kick. Strike comes in from Danny Green from the free kick, Glenn Murray gets a block in.24:42
The ball is delivered by Oluwafemi Ilesanmi.23:58
Craig Noone concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Green. Danny Green crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, clearance made by Marcos Painter.20:41
Liam Bridcutt concedes a free kick for a foul on Peter Gain. Tony Roberts restarts play with the free kick.18:45
Craig Noone provided the assist for the goal.18:45 Goal scored
Goal! - Glenn Murray - Brighton 2 - 1 Dag & Red Glenn Murray scores a headed goal from close range. Brighton 2-1 Dag & Red.18:42
The ball is crossed by Craig Noone,17:13
Elliott Bennett provided the assist for the goal.17:13 Goal scored
Goal! - Inigo Calderon - Brighton 1 - 1 Dag & Red Inigo Calderon finds the net with a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. Brighton 1-1 Dag & Red.17:05
Corner taken by Elliott Bennett,16:35
Craig Noone takes a shot.16:17
The ball is delivered by Oluwafemi Ilesanmi, Casper Ankergren makes a save.15:31
Elliott Bennett gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Peter Gain. Direct free kick taken by Oluwafemi Ilesanmi.12:16
Corner taken left-footed by Craig Noone, save by Tony Roberts.11:51
Craig Noone takes a shot. Save made by Tony Roberts.11:23
Short corner taken by Elliott Bennett.11:12
The ball is delivered by Elliott Bennett, clearance by Abu Ogogo.7:47
Adam El-Abd takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.7:17
Corner from left by-line taken by Elliott Bennett.6:57
Craig Noone takes a shot. Mark Arber gets a block in.5:06
Foul by Romain Vincelot on Liam Bridcutt, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Liam Bridcutt.4:06
The referee blows for offside against Glenn Murray. Tony Roberts takes the free kick.3:59
A cross is delivered by Inigo Calderon.2:20
Inigo Calderon delivers the ball, Effort on goal by Chris Wood from just inside the penalty area goes over the target.0:21
Assist by Danny Green.0:21 Goal scored
Goal! - John Akinde - Brighton 0 - 1 Dag & Red Goal scored by John Akinde from just outside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Brighton 0-1 Dag & Red.0:00
The game kicks-off.
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